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Bonfires are for hire at La Jolla beach, though legality is in question

A Timeless Day sets up for a Marine Street Beach bonfire party at which alcohol would be served.
(Mike Flore)

A local company is holding and promoting bonfire parties at Marine Street Beach in La Jolla, despite laws apparently against it.

Area resident Mike Flore, who visits Marine Street Beach daily, said he has observed the San Diego-based company, called A Timeless Day, conducting bonfires and serving alcohol five to seven times a week since March, most recently Aug. 19.

The fires are in self-contained pits brought in by the company, Flore said.

Area resident Mike Flore says he has observed bonfire parties at Marine Street Beach several times a week since March.
(Mike Flore)

Jose Ysea, public safety media services manager for the city of San Diego, said no alcohol is allowed on city beaches and no beach bonfires are allowed outside of city-provided fire rings. Marine Street Beach does not have city-provided rings.

City Parks & Recreation Department rules say portable barbecues are allowed.

“You also cannot conduct commercial activity on city property per San Diego municipal code,” Ysea said.

City spokesman Tim Graham said other city staff “confirmed we wouldn’t issue a permit for a business that sets up portable bonfires that offer alcohol.”

A Timeless Day did not respond to the La Jolla Light’s requests for comment. The company’s owners, Joe Barnes and Charlie Madruga, also offer experiences such as a trip to food spots along the coast and a “Picnic Party.”

A Timeless Day offers bonfire parties in the company's own pits.
A Timeless Day offers bonfire parties in the company’s own pits. A San Diego city representative says beach bonfires are not allowed outside of city-provided rings.
(Mike Flore)

The “A Timeless Night: Bonfire Beach Party” is promoted as a three-hour party at Marine Street Beach with appetizers, a pizza dinner and “a cooler full of alcoholic (local craft beer, wine, hard seltzers) and nonalcoholic drinks” with “our own cozy fire pit and enough wood to stay warm all night.”

The bonfire party costs $95 per person.

Flore expressed concern about “excess partying on a daily basis with some highly intoxicated individuals throwing footballs at seagulls,” along with the proximity of the smoke to the White Sands senior living community.

Flore said he is “not looking to police the beach, but I do care about it and feel it should be respected.” ◆